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Sam Rainsy, Chea Sim meet, but details few

In an unusual meeting at a private residence, opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy visited Cambodian People’s Party and Senate President Chea Sim in his villa in the capital yesterday, officials said.

Opposition lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said Rainsy had chosen to visit the 81-year-old in his home due to his ailing health.

CNRP lawmaker Tioulong Saumura – Rainsy’s wife – was also part of the visit.

“[Rainsy] wished Samdech Chea Sim to have good health and a long life,” Chhay Eng said, adding that Rainy had also talked with Sim about the July 22 agreement that broke the post-election deadlock.

“Samdech Chea Sim encouraged the big parties to talk about national interests and create cultural conversation.”

Chea Sim has rarely been seen in public since before last year’s national election.

Reached via email later, Rainsy, who yesterday evening left for France, said the meeting had been a casual affair, before declining to comment further.

Mam Sarin, chief of Chea Sim’s cabinet, said the meeting between the two party presidents was largely bereft of politics.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING FROM KEVIN PONNIAH

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